Housing arrangements vary from institution to institution. Your accommodation is your responsibility so try to make your arrangements early to avoid stress on arrival.
Many universities offer, but do not necessarily guarantee, university accommodation. Others may not have any student residences and students must find accommodation in the private sector. Where you stay is your decision and your responsibility.
Whatever you choose, make sure you read the small print. Beware of paying any fees upfront and be aware that, when you sign a contract, you have made a commitment that you may not easily be able to get out of.
Your host university's online information should make clear whether or not they offer housing and, if so, how you can apply and what their deadlines are. University accommodation is often oversubscribed so if you want the chance of a room, do not miss your host's deadline.
Whether or not you choose to stay in university accommodation is really up to you - some students prefer to do so because it's often easier and cheaper than finding private accommodation.
There's also a ready-made social life, as you will often be housed with other Erasmus students from all over Europe - on the down side, this may make it more difficult to immerse yourself in the language and culture of your host country.
Be aware that university residences may vary hugely in quality, even at the same institution. Don't assume that the accommodation will be well equipped or convenient for travel to and from your host university. The standards of accommodation may not be what you are used to, so do as much research into what's on offer as you can before committing.
It's worth trying to get in touch with students who've studied at your host university before to find out what they would recommend.
If you are looking for private accommodation, there are a number of websites which may be helpful before your departure. The International Office cannot endorse any of these but former exchange students have recommended the following. Please note that some of these agencies may charge a fee.
Students going to France should be aware of the CAF which may provide some financial assistance with their accommodation costs.
This article was published on Apr 2, 2013